On our way home from the Muslim Quarter tonight we walked down through the Bar District. It is this several block area filled with all kinds of bars. Reggae Bars, Jazz Bars, English Pubs, slick joints with valet parking, and holes in the wall. About half way through we entered a freaking free-fire zone. Two gangs of youths were playing dueling banjos but on the firecracker. There were these rolls of M-80 sized (about 5cm long and probably the thickness of a hot dog) crackers, maybe 500 in a roll, and they attach rolls together so that they go off consecutively. Then there were barrages of mortars, about 30 in a big cardboard container, and finally some really big dangerous sounding singles. Louder than a gun, and sort-of scary. So picture this, a narrow little street, really more of an alley, packed with cars, bars, and pedestrians. At one end of the street, Gang A, at the other end Gang B. Almost as soon as the explosions stop at the north, the south end goes off. The smoke is so thick it is hard to breath, the air is full of ash and embers, it gets up your nose and in your eyes. Everyone, even the people who are lighting them jump when the big ones go off, and it just goes on and on, at one point we had to run to get by a barrage of mortars that was just being lit. I got a little worried that someone was going to get hurt, but if they did I didn't see. Don't get me wrong. I am a firecracker lover. A lover of the bangs and flashes. This was just really extreme.